Is it rude to wear headphones around the office?
I don't mean when I'm sitting at my desk, but when I'm:
- Walking in the hallways to the bathroom/kitchen/printer (people often say hi, and strike up conversations around this, and would prefer not to discourage that too much).
- Sitting at my desk and somebody comes and talks to me.
- When I go to somebody else's desk to ask something of them.
Context: I'm in New Zealand, but you can probably answer the question more generally than that. I work in an office environment working as a programmer, in a non-programming business. The office I work in has a mix of younger generation and older baby boomers. I fall under the former. I'm also slightly autistic so have difficulty reading social cues.
I recently bought a pair of Google Buds and they are explicitly designed to not be noise cancelling, so as long as I have them muted, I can hear and have conversations as per normal. They are also somewhat difficult to take out, so I would prefer to leave them in most of the time as taking them in and out of ears every 20 minutes or so hurts my ears and is a bit fiddly.
Question: In what office based situations is it considered rude to have headphones on?